BOWYER AND BODINE WIN AT PIR

Clint Bowyer and Ernie Cope

Clint Bowyer and Ernie Cope. Photo by Lynne Huntting

CLINT BOWYER/No.33 Chevrolet and TODD BODINE/No.30 Toyota each won in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 Race at Phoenix International Raceway. Bowyer won the race, and Bodine won the 2010 Championship.

Bowyer was the third 2010 winner in the KHI NASCAR Camping World Truck. He won the Lucas Oil 150 Race at Phoenix International Raceway Friday night. He was as surprised as the next guy, as he’s only ever run eight Truck races, the last one being his victory at Texas Motor Speedway in November 2006.

Crew Chief, ERNIE COPE, has been the constant, while the No.33 drivers and winners rotate. The other winners were owner KEVIN HARVICK; and four-time Truck Champion including last year, RON HORNADAY, who just extended his KHI contract for several years.

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch. Photo by Lynne Huntting

Finishing second, 1.038 seconds behind Bowyer, was KYLE BUSCH/No.18 Toyota – his own team started after the end of the 2009 season. Busch is leading the Owner Points, but admitted it’s been a struggle and he hopes sponsorships fall into place for next year. One driver with whom Busch is reported to have had talks is TONY KANAAN of Brazil, a currently but hopefully not for long unemployed IndyCar driver.

Third was JOHNNY SAUTER/No.13 Chevrolet, who started fifth.

Pole sitter AUSTIN DILLON/No.3 Chevrolet finished seventh, the top Rookie.

There were four lead changes among four drivers – Bowyer, Busch, Dillon and JAMES BUESCHER/No.31 Chevrolet – who finished eleventh after starting eighteenth. The 150-lap race was punctuated by five cautions for 27 laps. Three were for accidents, but no one was hurt. The Average Speed was 99.539 mph.

Todd Bodine

Todd Bodine. Photo by Lynne Huntting

Bodine, who finished twelfth, is the third Truck driver to win multiple Truck championships and the first to do so in a Toyota. He last won in 2006. The other two multiple championship winners are Hornaday, and Hornaday’s friend and rival, JACK SPRAGUE, who no longer is racing in the series. Bodine’s team is second in the Owner Points, a championship not yet clinched. The gap between Busch and Bodine’s teams is 120 points, with a maximum of 195 available at the season’s finale race. So, it ain’t over until it’s over.

Bodine said “Actually, I wish it felt better – to be the 2010 Truck Champion. That was such a terrible performance tonight.  But, one night doesn’t make a team.  And Germain Racing has done a hell of a job all year — so consistent every week.

“It’s special with Germain Racing. That’s the deal. I mean, we didn’t have a sponsor, but the Germain brothers decided last winter that we were going to race this 30 truck no matter what. They were going to come out of their pockets to make this happen knowing that we have a team that can go out and win races, run up front and win championships.  They knew that they had that kind of team.”

The attendance was reported at 28,500.

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